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Worship Sheet for Sunday 18 December  He chose shepherds       Advent 4    

God chooses differently from us. We tend to go by outward appearances, popularity, obvious skills whereas God tend to look at the heart, at potential, deep down at love. The first to hear and tell of the birth of God’s son were shepherds, in those days dubious characters, not well trusted by most people – but God had other ideas – and maybe we need to be willing to think again about how we choose.
Call: Come, tired as you are from your busyness; come, excited as you are about Christmas; come with all the concerns that are weighing you down; listen – listen less to the hustle and bustle and more to the angels’ message “The saviour is born!” Come, and like the shepherds worship him, then share the good news.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Once in royal David’s city, Bethlehem, a long long time ago, your Son, Jesus, was born to be our Saviour. Each Christmas, we remember the stars and the angels, the shepherds and the kings, Mary and Joseph – and the message of peace and joy – the Saviour of the World, God with us. And that’s great, Lord. It really is wonderful that you loved us so much that you sent your Son to be our Saviour. It is incredible that you had your Son come among us a vulnerable wee baby, born into the world just as we were, God born as one of us. And you did it because you loved us so much. But what is even more wonderful – you are still with us, you still love us, you are still Immanuel – God with us – here in Montrose or wherever we are, this year, this Christmas, 2022 and always will be. As we celebrate your birth, reassure us that you continue to be with us and always will be – for you are not just the baby in the manger, you are the crucified God, the risen and ascended Lord, the one who promised to be us always even to the end of the age. Forgive us all wrongs especially our slowness to recognise you in our midst. Be with us this morning as we worship, be with us as we celebrate Christmas and continue with us into the new year reminding us that you love us and always will. You are Christ the King, Saviour of the World, God with us and you want us to be with you, to become special people, people who can trust your Son, and live for him, loving him and our neighbours and the whole world. Amen

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Luke 2:8-16.
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Thought- We may not like to think it but we are forever choosing – making choices – about how we spend our day, what to wear, what to eat, when to do this or that (or not as the case may be), who we spend time with, what matters to us. Perhaps we can remember when they picked teams at school? Were you one of the first they picked (good at sports) or the last? (not so good, not so popular). Of course, it didn’t stop there – through life we can be picked or left, and yes, it can be us who choose or don’t choose others. God chooses too – but very differently from us. We tend to choose depending on how it suits us, what people have going for them, appearances, popularity, abilities, and so on. God though looks rather at the heart, our characters, our potential, how ready we are to trust him. Long ago, the shepherds were the first to hear the message about the birth of the Saviour – and the first to tell others about him. They had a dubious reputation, not all of them were shifty, but they weren’t seen as very reliable but wow when they got it, they got it and they were moved by the angels’ message (scared stiff to begin with) but they moved – they went and saw for themselves – the baby in the manger and they couldn’t help passing on the news. God has given us the privilege of hearing the good news and of meeting the saviour, and he’s chosen us to play our part in passing it on. We may think we have little going for us but God has picked us for his team – come on, let’s go for it.

Praise: CH4 323         The First Nowell    v 1,2,3 & 6
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Pray: Loving God, long ago you gave us Jesus so that the world might  be changed, made new and loving. We still pray for life and renewal, for hope and promise, for those who do not always feel they belong, who are on the edge of things - hungry, poor, forgotten. Our prayers are for those around the world - your places  this year where amongst all that is fragile you still promise, your light is born, your word spoken. And may we help to make it real here where we live - in amongst everything, in the middle of our town and streets and neighbourhoods keep alive the promise for those who need it most. So our prayers are for all who seek comfort and compassion, hope and light; our family and our friends; our parish and our world; may we all find in this season the promise alive in the midst of everything. In our prayer walk we remember those who live or work in Palmerston Street and Railway Place. And keep us open to your voice, to respond to you calling us to pass on and live out the good news of Jesus, the Saviour of the world.
SILENCE

Advent God, come among us in love and gentle power that we may go out to live and tell your good news where we are this Christmas and beyond.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.